Stephanie DeThomas - Individual Retirement Account

For Stephanie DeThomas, what began as a high school research assignment has evolved into a lifelong passion and an opportunity to write her own wildlife legacy.

"During a class in high school, I was asked to write a paper about a current event," Stephanie explains. "I decided to research the wolf reintroduction to Yellowstone National Park." Since Defenders of Wildlife was a key player in the reintroduction, Stephanie wrote a letter to Defenders to request more information. "I was so impressed by Defenders' response and by what they were doing to help the wolves, that I've been a member ever since."

And decades later, Stephanie says she is still impressed by Defenders' work. "I love how Defenders helps people coexist with wildlife on the ground level, while also holding government accountable and keeping members informed and involved."

Stephanie, a resident of Aventura, Florida, now runs the Sky Miami Foundation, an organization she founded to help rescue abandoned Siberian huskies in Miami-Dade County. But her passion still lies with wolves. "I love dogs, but there's something really special about wolves," Stephanie says. "They have an aura, a mystique. And it's really disheartening to see the struggles they still face in this country."

With that in mind, Stephanie has chosen to include Defenders in her estate plans. "I've named Defenders as beneficiary of my Roth IRA, because I want to ensure the good work they are doing to preserve and protect wildlife continues long after my lifetime. Nature is our most precious resource."

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Bequests left to Defenders are crucial to our ability to protect imperiled species and their habitats for generations to come. Have you included Defenders in your will or other estate plans?